I often get asked, “what are our resources for finding the names of our orchids”? Today in our world of technology, most of us have smart phones, so we can access the internet where we can find just about anything. Remember in the old days, we used to use books, and for the orchid folks, our “Orchid Bible” was the Sander’s List of Orchid Hybrids. These heavy books were normally published every five to ten years (depending on the number of hybrids registered) by the Royal Horticultural Society in Kew England. In fact even today they remain the international registrar for all orchid hybrids. So researching a hybrid and it’s genealogy, or species was a very time consuming thing, often requiring a large table and multiple volumes of Sanders. For the species we had an encyclopedia written by Alex Hawkes, it was my go to book, because it had photos! Other great resources were our American Orchid Society journal and in Hawaii, our Na Okika O Hawaii bulletin, which was jointly published by the Pacific Orchid Society and Honolulu Orchid Society.
Fast forward to today, our orchid information is at our fingertips. One of the best resources is a for pay computer software called Orchid Wiz. This database/encyclopedia contains all the information from nearly 200,000 orchid species and hybrids you may ever need about your orchid. Information such as orchid genealogy, photographs and illustrations, awards, and cultural information. But unfortunately, I don’t always have my computer with me, so I rely on my smart phone and go online to Bluenanta.com. They are trying offer what Orchid Wiz does, but much scaled down. Their greatest asset is that they are up to date with orchid registrations and genealogy. Still not bad for a free service. Searching Google images is also a great tool and comes in handy when you may only know a common name of the orchid you want to identify. Sometimes I will check it first to get close and then go to Bluenanta or Orchid Wiz. If you can wait, take a photo and bring it or better yet the orchid to a meeting and usually someone will recognize what it is. It makes us old timers feel important whenever we the orchid can help.
On April 24, 2019, UH Manoa Hamilton Library held a presentation entitled, “Journey Through the Natural Sciences in Hamilton Library’s Rare Book Collection”.
Attendees were able to look through several rare books featuring beautifully illustrated plates of orchids, birds and other animals.
One of the presenters, Sheron Harwood, WOS President, captivated the audience with her knowledge of orchid history, diversity and culture.
The books from this rare collection dated from as early as 1587!
Of particular interest was a large, bound volume published from 1837-1843, The Orchidaceae of Mexico & Guatamala.
You can see from the picture of the Cattleya Skinneri with Sheron’s hand in it, just how immense this book was.
Other pictures are a Cycnoches Egertonianum, unusual in that it has male and female flowers and a Stanhopea Martiana, unique because the flower spikes grow down from the bottom.
The detail and accuracy of these hand-drawn prints were amazing, right down to bug bites on the stems.
~ Dawn Bonak
I bet if I do everything just right, I can get that daggum orchid flower to come out of that plant. I know it’s in there because I’d seen it before. It was a sweet little thing that made me smile to look at it.
OK, let’s see here. Now, Scot says what you need to pay attention to is:
#1- Don’t leave your plant soaking in water all day. It’s got to dry quick or the roots will rot.
There are tricks for that. You put the plant in a pot with stuff like Styrofoam (not kiddin’) for the bottom and around the sides. Then, add some bark or gravel to take up the space in the middle of the pot and get that plant in there all nice and snug, so it won’t wobble around. Get it? This stuff’s not gonna hold water very long at all.
And, the most important thing is to use a little-bitty pot. That way, there’s no way for water to accumulate. If that plant is still wobbly, put a stake next to a stem and twist-tie them together. If the plant wants to fall over, put that little pot into an empty bigger pot.
#2-Blah, blah, blah…
That’s a lot of words.
Don’t you wish someone can just show you how to do this?
Well, you are in luck.
Go watch Scot, or another orchid sage, in person at a Windward Orchid Society Saturday Workshop at Dot’s house. It’s better than a YouTube video because you can ask questions and even bring your own plant and fix it up under expert orchid tutelage.
And bonus, bring a yummy dish to share and enjoy a potluck lunch and talking story after the workshop. This is more fun than reading about orchid care…really.
Watch for more details about these workshops in your Windward Orchid Society newsletter.
Of course you need to sign up and be a member to get our newsletters.
Here’s what happens at Dot’s Workshop:
Larry Yamamoto, from the Kunia Orchid Society, shared his knowledge and experience on the topic of General Orchid Care.
Larry has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Hawaii and 30 years of experience with the US Department of Agriculture.
He grows Cattleya, Vanda, Slipper Orchids and other orchids.
WOS Cook Book
Available at all WOS events for $15.
Orchid Doctor If you have questions about your orchids or have orchids that are not doing well, please bring them early (7:00p.m.) to the General Membership meeting and our orchid doctor (Scot) will gladly identify the problem and try to answer your questions.
General Questions For questions about the Windward Orchid Society, see Craig Nakahara (wearing a florescent green shirt) during our General Membership Meeting.
Refreshment Contributions Sign up sheets are at the refreshment table or you can email Toni Walker at email@example.com.
Mail correspondence to: Windward Orchid Society, Inc. P.O. Box 23 Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744 The WOS meets on the first Wednesday of every month at the King Intermediate School Cafeteria.
The Windward Orchid Society meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the King Intermediate School Cafeteria, located at 46-155 Kamehameha Hwy. in Kaneohe.
Become a member
Join the Windward Orchid Society to help promote, educate and show an appreciation of one of the most beautiful and exotic of all plants. The Orchid.